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Passport events educate participants on new tuition and fee structure

Feedback from the recently concluded Passport to The OHIO Guarantee ™ events indicates that Ohio University community members who attended feel much more familiar now with the new tuition and fee structure that will being in fall semester of 2015.

The Passport events were held three times in fall semester – September, October, and November. The interactive workshops were targeted to OHIO faculty, staff and students who wanted to learn more about the innovative program that will change the way students pay their tuition and fees, beginning with degree-seeking undergraduate first-year or transfer students who enroll beginning in fall semester of 2015.

Participants received biographical information about one of eight fictitious students they would portray while visiting various offices of the University, gathering information about The OHIO Guarantee. A photo booth was set up to give people a souvenir of their trip and a viewing room played a loop of short videos produced by University Communications and Marketing (UCM) about The OHIO Guarantee. At the end of their Passport journey, participants received a spiral bound handbook with quick reference materials about The OHIO Guarantee.

UCM staff and members of the Passport event planning team, with guidance from the Tuition Guarantee Implementation Team, orchestrated each of the three identical events, which allowed for maximum participation from attendees throughout the University.

 “It was important to us to give people who came to the event different ways to learn about the program,” said Renea Morris, UCM’s chief marketing officer. “We wanted people to move at their own pace, ask as many questions as they wanted and come away with a better understanding.”

Valerie Miller, director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, serves on both the Tuition Guarantee Implementation Team and the Passport event planning team. Miller answered questions from attendees at the Financial Aid table and says many participants jumped right in to the role playing aspect.

“Many also then took the opportunity to ask questions that related most directly to the students they serve. Overall, I saw a lot of smiles and several “a ha” moments come across attendees’ faces,” Miller said.

That “a ha” moment was also evident in comments provided through post-event surveys. A majority of participants reported that prior to the event they attended, they were “slightly” or “not at all” familiar with The OHIO Guarantee. After participating in the Passport event, 98 percent of surveyed attendees reported they felt “moderately” or “very” familiar with The OHIO Guarantee.

Anonymous comments on the survey included:

  • “Fantastic approach!”
  • “The handbook and video were GREAT!”
  • “All the employees need to have the video/handbook.”
  • “It was just an excellent event overall. Very thought out and fun while also very informative.”
  • “Everything was done very well. I feel very confident in talking about The OHIO Guarantee.”

For any interested University community members who were unable to attend the Passport events, UCM is in production on a video that will mirror the experience by presenting a first person point of view of the event and provide the same valuable information. Details of the release of the video will be shared in a future Compass article.